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Psak Halachah from HaRav Hershel Schachter shlit”a

March 15, 2020 (9:37pm)

The mitzvah to safeguard and preserve life overrides all mitzvos haTorah. It is not a midas chassidus to ignore saconas nefoshos. On the contrary, it is expressly and strictly forbidden. In the words of the Ba’alei ha Tosfos  “domov be-rosho”; such an individual is culpable for any loss of life r”l that ensues.

In light of expert medical opinion regarding the current catastrophic danger, the following measures are halachically required and must be adhered to by all.

  • Everyone should daven privately (be-yechedus)No minyonim should be formed in any venue.
  • Weddings and brisin should be celebrated with a quorum of ten, no more (minyan m’tzumtzom).
  • Funerals r”l must also be curtailed to a bare quorum of ten.
  • Bar and Bas Mitzvah celebrations should be postponed.
  • Yeshivos should be closed immediately

In the merit of the sacred mitzvah of attempting to preserve and protect life and our teshuvah (repentance), both communal and individual, may HKB”H (the Holy One, blessed be He) send the yeshuah (salvation).

Rav Hershel Schachter

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